ATalker is a Web-based text-to-speech utility, based on the Festival Text-to-Speech system. With synthesized speech ATalker can read text out loud over the Web. With the ATalker Theme installed, the ATutor interface and feedback messages can be read out loud. See the demo to try ATalker yourself, the ATalker Readme for documentation, and the ATalker download to get a copy for your ATutor installation.

The current version of ATalker (version 0.1, the first version) was developed on a Linux based system, but should, in theory, work on other systems that support Festival and PHP. This version is experimental, available primarily for testing and community comments. Post your comments, suggestions, bug reports, kudos, etc., to the NEW! ATutor Add-ons Forum

ATalker can currently produce English and Spanish voices. The potential for many other languages is available through the Mbrola Project for those who would like to contribute. This version of ATalker is based on the Festival 1.4.3 Speech Synthesis System, though should function properly with Festival 2.0.

ATalker Popup Version Screenshot

ATalker Features


  • Web-based Text-to-Speech Reader: Copy text from course content into the text reader, and have it converted to an OGG, MP3, or WAV file , to play in a common multimedia application.
  • Web-based SABLE/SSML Reader: Copy text formatted with SABLE or SSML markup languages to customize speech characteristics, such as the speaker, pitch, volumn, rate, pronunciation, or emphasis.
  • Popup Reader: Open a popup version of ATalker to have the readers available while navigating through ATutor.
  • ATutor speech enabled interface: With the ATalker theme installed, the ATutor interface can be read out loud by tabbing through interface items, or by hovering with a mouse pointer.
  • Audio feedback and error messages: With the ATalker theme installed,feedback and error messages can be read out load.
  • ATalker speech controls: Turn the interface voice, and audio error and feedback messages on or off.
  • Export SABLE Markup: Generate SABLE text-to-speech files that can be exported and played in other SABLE or SSML conformant TTS systems.


  • ATalker Readers: Instructors have the same tools available to them as learners do.
  • ATalker Student Tool: Instructors can enable ATalker as a Student Tool, making it available on the course home page, or through the course main navigation menu.
  • Create custom course speech files: Instructors can generate speech files to supplement text- and graphic- based content, and link those files into their course content pages. Using the SABLE reader, customizes voices or speech dialogs.


  • ATalker Readers: Administrators have the same tools available to them as learners do.
  • ATutor Interface Voice: Using the ATalker Administrator, ATutor administrators can generate a custom voice for their ATutor installation. Using the Text or SABLE reader, adjust the voice to your liking, then use those settings to generate speech files.
  • ATalker Default Theme: Install the speech enabled ATalker Default Theme, and modify it to create custom speech enabled themes for ATutor.
  • Custom Speech Generator: Generate custom speech files that can be linked into ATutor theme templates to provide audio help.